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Expanded BRICS will keep ‘trademark’ name – Moscow

The bloc’s acronym is a “brand” and the addition of new members will not change that, a top Russian diplomat has said

The BRICS economic group will keep its current name despite the bloc’s expansion, a top Russian diplomat has said.

BRICS is a recognizable brand and a “trademark,” according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who is also Russia’s sherpa in the group.

“One thing has to be made clear: The leaders in Johannesburg agreed that despite the expansion which took place on January 1, the new larger group will keep its name, BRICS. Period. Not ‘BRICS-plus’, but BRICS. It’s a brand. It’s a well-known trademark. And it’s going to stay that way,” Ryabkov replied when asked by a journalist in Moscow whether ‘BRICS-plus’ could become the name for the expanded bloc.

Ryabkov was referring to the 2023 BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, where new members were formally invited to join the group.

BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the initial members of the bloc. Five more countries – Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates – joined the group at the start of this year as part of a major expansion. The door has been left open for further additions.

The expanded BRICS accounts for about 30% of the global economy, and has a combined population of roughly 3.5 billion, or 45% of the world’s inhabitants.

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The bloc’s political and economic influence has increased significantly since harsh sanctions were imposed on Russia by the US and its their allies following the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. BRICS members have not joined the Western campaign and have continued or boosted trade with Russia.

Numerous other nations have expressed interest in becoming BRICS members, and some have already formally submitted applications, including Venezuela, Thailand, Senegal, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Bahrain, and Pakistan.

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